An Appointment with the Wicker Man
A populist comedy success from Greg Hemphill, Donald McLeary and Vicky Featherstone
This article is from 2012.
Of course the idea of a musical version of acclaimed horror movie The Wicker Man is absurd. That’s pretty much the point of the National Theatre of Scotland’s play-within-a-play from writers Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary and director Vicky Featherstone, which depicts the Loch Parry Players attempting to bring their latest masterpiece to the stage
This purposefully preposterous production soon starts to parallel the events of the film as TV star Rory (Sean Biggerstaff) is drafted in to add a bit of glamour to this am-dram production in the wilds of Scotland, finding himself adrift in a world of comedy grotesques, fending off the creepy sexual advances of leading lady Marie (Sally Reid) and costume designer Morag (Rosalind Sydney) while delving into the mysterious disappearance of his predecessor. Hempell also stars as vaguely sinister artistic director Finlay while Johnny McKnight camps it up as director Callum.
There are a couple of missteps: some of the comedy is too broad and, while the final song is a fun way to end, narrative-wise it is a mistake. But An Appointment with the Wicker Man never pretends to be anything but populist comedy theatre and as such it’s a success.
The Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, until 26 Aug, 3.10pm, £16 (£12).